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Social Studies

In: Novels

Submitted By johnsonmary
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Chapter 2 Basic concepts

Introduction 17 2.1 2.2 2.3 Relevance, weight and admissibility 18 Classification of evidence 20 Development and current objectives of evidence law 23

When you begin to study a new legal subject, you soon find that you come across words and expressions that you have not encountered before, or that you suspect are being used in a special way. This is especially so for evidence law. You need to understand the most important of these early on in order to get to grips with the subject. This chapter introduces you to these words and expressions. Besides ‘learning the language’ of evidence, you need to begin to develop a critical attitude towards the law so that you can write good answers to essay questions in the examination. But it’s impossible to adopt a critical attitude if you have no opinion about what the objectives of the law should be, and so this chapter introduces you to that topic too.

Learning outcomes By the end of this chapter and the relevant readings you should be able to: explain what is meant by ‘relevance’, ‘weight’ and ‘admissibility’ present arguments defending or attacking the relevance of a given item of evidence explain what is meant by the following major technical terms used in evidence law: the best evidence rule, circumstantial and direct evidence, collateral facts, documentary evidence, facts in issue, original evidence, real evidence, hearsay, the best evidence rule and the voir dire describe two important characteristics of evidence law: its limited application, and its mixture of principles, rules and discretions explain the functions of judge and jury in a Crown Court trial describe the impact of the Human Rights Act 1998 and the European Convention on Human Rights on evidence law outline the way in which modern evidence law has developed explain the main theories about the current...

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